Monday, January 23, 2012

Real Warfare 2: Lovechild.

Well, gosh, I guess I promised a non-tank related post last week didn't I? I do play other games, believe it or not, so I thought I'd do a quick blurb on Real Warfare 2. I'm going to make it quick as I've played it for less than 4 hours so far, and I think an in-depth review would be a bit unfair. I stumbled upon this one during a peruse of Steam games (they are good for something after all) and was intrigued. Captivated. Gobsmacked. No, not really, but I was interested in the setting and the tactical, medieval warfare aspect of it all and I haven't been disappointed.

We need to get this out of the way. Real Warfare 2 isn't the next, best thing in the real-time/tactical battle genre (if that is, indeed a genre). It isn't breaking any new ground, and in fact if Total War got together with Mount and Blade, and had a little gaming baby- this would be it! You roam around a map in real-time ala Mount and Blade, building your forces, trading, and gaining experience by beating on bad guys and their towns/castles and when it's time to fight- off you go into the Total War room. It's just that simple.

That doesn't make it a bad thing. In fact, I think it's pretty good. I've posted on Total War: Shogun II and how it just isn't my thing (the setting, not the game which is great). I've also been wanting to play Mount and Blade since I bought it almost a year and a half ago, but just never seem to get around to it. I was thinking about these games when I stumbled onto Real Warfare so it was a no brainer for me. I like the familiarity of it all, with units (swordsmen, axemen, archers, knights) and tactics I am familiar with.

Tutorial? Who needs one? If you've played Total War or Mount and Blade you certainly won't need one. There is one included though, so don't fear. The 'campaign' consists- so far- of some pretty simple, linear quests. Go kill him. Take that town. Stop those robbers. Pretty unnecessary if you ask me- I'm going to try and kill/conquer everything anyway, but I suppose if you don't enjoy a sand-box you might like a little push in the direction of the bad guys.

The AI seems pretty good in the fights and I've actually been beaten! I think of that as a good sign that the matches won't be too easy. The enemy reacts to what I do, rather than pushing in like fools to die. The units look great (but not as good as Shogun II of course) and I'm sure the trading aspect of the game works fine. I personally used the cheats (obtained via a Google search if you're interested) to get more money and experience right away. Ya, I said it. I CHEATED. The starting quests are too hard to complete immediately and I didn't feel like participating in a pile of battles involving me, my spearmen, my archers, and a similarly matched peasant army until I had enough experience to get more units. I'm a veteran of these games and want the challenge of commanding an army, not a rag-tag band of buffoons.

I think the game has promise, but as the story line is a bit of a let-down, and it's not a true sand-box (unless you use the cheat 'freemodeon') it's a game I'm only going to play when I really feel like some medieval tactical battles. I'll post more if/when I put in a bit more time into it.

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